Class of 2008 Songwriters Find Inspiration in an Old Bridge and in Each Other
Posted March 12th, 2008 by Linda

March 12, 2008
Linda Akins
Eds.: The spelling of pat mAcdonald is correct.

Songwriters Find Inspiration in an Old Bridge and in Each Other

STURGEON BAY, WISCONSIN. When 25 songwriters meet in Sturgeon Bay in June, they will be bridging cultural differences, music genres, age gaps, and composing styles to participate in a week of collaborative songwriting. These artists are the guests of The Construction Zone, a songwriting workshop founded by singer/songwriter pat mAcdonald as part of the annual Steel Bridge SongFest in Sturgeon Bay, WI. The SongFest was organized by pat and his sister Christie Weber of Citizens for our Bridge to raise awareness and funds for the preservation of the historic Sturgeon Bay Bridge in their hometown.

What happens when you take 25 songwriters from all over the map, both literally and creatively, and throw them together for a week? Lots and lots of lyrics and music. That’s what happens. In only two years of past Construction Zone workshops, more than 120 original songs have been composed, performed and recorded. One CD of selected songs is completed and a second is in production.

This year’s songwriter roster holds some familiar names for those who follow the indie songwriter scene, and some who are just beginning their songwriting careers. They come from as near as the next scenic Door County town to as far away as London, England. They include a 15-year-old local Seth Raddatz from Sister Bay, WI; Louise Goffin (daughter of one of the most famous collaborative songwriting teams ever--Jerry Goffin and Carole King), Los Angeles, CA; Chris Simmons, London; Danielle Gasparro, New York, NY; Kacy Crowley, Austin, TX; Ian Moore, Seattle, WA; and Lynda Kay, Venice, CA.

The diversity of songwriters allows for some interesting collaborative efforts. Ages range from 15 to 55. Some of the writers have had a taste of stardom already. Others have to ask for time off from their day jobs to attend the workshop. But, all have what it takes to make it in The Construction Zone: an unquenchable need to put words and music to paper and hear them transformed via performance in front of an audience. That drive is being channeled into a collaborative effort in a very interesting way.

“"I used to go to this castle in France that was owned by the brother of the drummer for The Police (Miles Copeland),” said mAcdonald. “He was my publisher at the time. We were set up in groups of three to write songs. The groups were chosen very scientifically. Here we use Spin The Bottle..."
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